Rep. Albrecht Addresses Mask Mandates, Unemployment

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Representative Carl Albrecht, District 70

By Representative Carl Albrecht, District 70

COVID-19 Update

As of Thursday, July 9 , the Utah Department of Health has reported 27,356 positive cases (an increase of 601 cases from the day before), 1,700 hospitalizations (177 current hospitalizations) and 205 deaths (an increase of four from the day before). In all, Utah has administered 388,733 total tests. Additionally, it is estimated that 15,661 Utahns have recovered from COVID-19. Thanks to you and your families again for doing your part to slow the spread of COVID-19.

Unemployment Update

Below is the latest unemployment data, including a few things to highlight from last week (June 28-July 4):

  • Traditional Unemployment Insurance claims decreased 3.1% from the previous week to 4,850 claims
  • Pandemic Unemployment Assistance claims decreased by 10.6% from the previous week to 1,502 claims
  • Pandemic Extended Unemployment Claims increased by 6.2% from the previous week to 897 claims
  • Total new claims for all three programs ended the week at 7,249; total new claims have leveled out in June consistently being above 7,000 claims.
  • Combined weekly claims for all three programs was at 91,439
  • Total combined numbers from March 15 to July 4
    • New claims: 241,343
    • Benefits paid: $985,645,579

If your employment has been impacted by COVID-19, you should visit ​jobs.utah.gov/covid19 for updated information, including help for employees and employers returning to work.

Elections

Utah had many critical primary elections throughout the state, including gubernatorial, attorney general, congressional districts, county positions and state legislative races. I want to thank you for voting and sharing your voice. Congratulations to all those who secured their primary nominations last week.

Brad Wilson, Speaker of the Utah House of Representatives, provided the following statement regarding a statewide mandate on wearing masks in public on July 9, 2020.

“While Utah has made significant progress combating COVID-19, we need to remember that this pandemic is far from over. The most effective way for us to keep our economy moving, to open schools, play team sports and to get back to normal life is to wear a mask when social distancing is not practical. While they pose a minor inconvenience, I am committed to leading by example, as have many legislators.

However, I believe it’s prudent to stop short of issuing a statewide government mandate, because doing so would apply the same policy to our most heavily populated areas as our rural areas and areas with different rates of infection.  Local officials are better positioned to make data driven decisions regarding face masks that are tailored to their communities.

As elected officials, members of the Utah House of Representatives work to strike the proper balance between enacting policies beneficial for our constituents while protecting the rights of the people of our state. In Utah, we prefer to encourage people to do the right thing rather than issuing mandates and demanding compliance. We encourage all Utahns to consider how they can do their part to slow the rapidly increasing cases of COVID-19 and to make a personal commitment to doing their part to help us get life back to normal as soon as possible, protect the vulnerable and remain safe.”

Thank you for the opportunity you have allowed me to represent you. Please contact me with any questions or concerns by email, text or phone.  carlalbrecht@le.utah.gov.

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